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Practical Data Management Activities

Programming: If you're involved with new construction, going through the programming and conceptual design of the facility, the project team should identify a person or group that establishes rules for the data management of data generated throughout the project. While the focus in new construction is typically the construction schedule and the capital budget, acknowledgment and appreciation of long-term operations, rules and standards for data management, and the need to exported data into operations and facility management systems is positive.

Building Information Modeling: BIM is the significant data management tool for new construction. Data can be generated and stored in the BIM CO- Bie files throughout the process of design, construction, and commissioning. The updating of data occurs several times during the project. Responsibility for the data is shared and shifts from the designers to the contractors during the project. BIM data also needs to be updated based on RFIs, construction related changes, and change orders.

Submittals: Construction submittals are an important milestone in new construction or renovation. Submittals usually involve shop drawings, product data, samples, and coordination drawings. Quality assurance and quality control submittals involve design data, test reports, certificates, and manufacturer's instructions. Submittals must be in an electronic format; all of this data and information needs to be provided in an electronic form, preferable COBie for the product data, or a format that is part of a building owner's data management system.

Systems Integration: We generally integrate buildings systems to enhance functionality; integrating fire systems, access control system, elevators, and HVAC are the best examples. We also integrate systems when building owners have multiple BMS systems but want one overall enterprise platform. In that case, the larger integration platform acquires data from multiple systems in various formats using different communications protocols. Through the use of middleware the data is standardized and one database is created, much like a data management system may use. In some cases the standardization of data to facilitate advanced building management systems is in alignment and could be used with an enterprise data management system.

Commissioning: During commissioning and project closeout, data and information such as commissioning reports, project record documents, contract drawings, project manuals, contract modifications, startup logs, test reports, certifications, and the complete as-built BIM is generated. All this information should be permanently retained and accessible. Some documents may be paper, such as certifications, but all documents and data should be submitted electronically and stored. If the building or systems are modified, the designers and contractors will want to use the original record document as the baseline.

An immense volume of building data is created during the design, construction and operation of a facility, but, we've only managed and analyzed a relatively small amount of the available data. The industry foray into data management and analytics is just in its infancy. The initial results, however, especially FDD applications, are impressive. We should expect the FDD model and other analytic methods to apply to other building systems and additional data to be generated by new building systems, such as indoor positioning systems, motorized shading and water reclamation. The starting point is a facility manager given the responsibility for implementing a structured data management system.

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